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LSU Softball Weekend Preview: Missouri

Missouri comes to Tiger Park for the final home series the regular season

After another tough weekend, the Tigers are back in Tiger Park for three games against Missouri, hoping to regain a winning form.

The Schedule

Friday 4/28: SECN+. 107.3 FM

Saturday 4/29: ESPN, 107.3 FM

Sunday 4/30: ESPN, 107.3 FM

The Opponent

It’s been a struggle for the Columbia Tigers, with a 27-21 record overall and a 5-12 record in SEC play. Mizzou has had its strong moments, most notably beating a ranked Washington team early in the season and taking two-of-three from Alabama. However, the Tigers have also haven’t won an SEC series other than the Alabama series, and are coming off getting swept by Kentucky.

Players to know: Braxton Burnside (.634 SLG, .320 AVG, 48 RBI), Kristen Mack (.357 AVG, .674 SLG, 9 HR), Rylee Pierce (.308 AVG, .549 SLG, 8 HR), Cheyenne Baxter (2.18 ERA, 101 K, .252 OPPBA).

The Missouri offense can be very dangerous. They hit with power, leading the conference with 52 home runs and their .471 team slugging percentage ranks fourth in the conference. Missouri’s pitching is, statistically, the worst in the conference. Their 3.21 ERA, .272 opponents batting average, and 33 home runs allowed are worst in the conference. The Tiger defense is not particularly good either.

What to Watch For

Tee Time

These next three games should be ones carried by the LSU offense. Ideally, the offense LSU produced the last few games shines against a subpar pitching staff. Amanda Doyle, Sahvanna Jaquish, Bailey Landry and Connie Quinn have been solid of late and that four could thrive off the Mizzou pitching staff. If those four, and the rest of the starters, can get to the Mizzou staff early, it would certainly present a chance for Beth Torina to get some playing time for some of the reserves who might be needed for the postseason

Pitching Bounce Back

It was a bad weekend for the LSU staff last weekend, at least by the standards set by the staff. Unfortunately, Missouri isn’t the best team to face when looking for an easy lineup to cruise through. Mizzou’s home run power should keep the LSU staff cautious throughout the weekend. With such home run potential, it will be critical as always for the LSU defense to limit runners, and limit MU to as few solo home runs as possible.

Estimated Outcome

LSU is in a sprint to sore up it’s postseason resume, and with that, postseason expectations. Realistically, LSU needs to have some combination of winning the next two series, preferably in dominant fashion, and a deep SEC tournament run in order to host a regional. That’s long-ish term. More immediately, LSU should be aiming for a sweep this weekend. Despite recent struggles on the part of LSU, Mizzou is not only on paper a lesser team, MU is coming off being swept last weekend against a Kentucky team just one spot behind the LSU in both polls. Don’t be surprised by what LSU does this weekend offensively, good or bad. The pitching should bounce back after seeing the unit squander a lead like last weekend. Maybe not a series of shutouts, but there should be confidence that the LSU pitching staff can manage the Missouri lineup. This weekend is all about wins, and style points matter, as LSU makes its last push towards a home postseason berth.